Quick And Easy Keyword Research Tools? How to Get Quality Competitive Intelligence for Free

What is the best way of doing free keyword research?

Which keyword tools are best?

This question has come up a bit over the last week or so since the last “Enlightened Entrepreneur” PDF went up, and several of you have asked why I didn’t recommend a specific tool anywhere in the material.

The truth is, while I know most people disagree (especially the affiliates who make a living promoting them) and claim that keyword research is super duper important, I disagree…..and think if you know your niche, and focus on creating killer content around what you know – you’ll know the right keywords AND the right language to use to target the traffic that is most meaningful to you as well.

You DO have to do some keyword research obviously……but not in the way that most traditional niche marketers recommend.

The ONLY real keyword research I pay for is Spyfu – (both because I like it and they give me a significant discount over current rates) and I’ve used (and like) Ispionage a lot as well.

Mostly these tools just help you look at the competitive landscape a bit, and get a bit of a headstart by seeing opportunities that may not be obvious to you going in, or if you are advertising using PPC, a great way to “steal” the campaigns that appear to be converting for your competition already.  (and both tools can be really, really fun to use and addicting….which is ironically why I don’t really recommend spending too much time doing research….when you could be creating content, or building your community, etc)

A great tool that has LOTS of free functionality for quick and easy competitive intelligence is http://Quantcast.Com – and you can check out Alexa.Com as well – as each has some unique features that will tell you things about a site, or a market, or a keyword that is really revealing to have so readily available.

(Quantcast will tell you not only how popular a site is, but how it’s trending, what the general user base is like, what other sites their readers are likely to visit (great for affiliate ideas that are “wide” or outside of the obvious association we may make about what folks are likely to buy) and even how “addictive” or how likely it is that users will KEEP coming back after an intial pass.

(another great feature for affiliates, and for creating content, and communities that are compelling for your own readers as well) For example, in the screenshot below, they’re telling us that visitors to Ezinearticles.Com are 21 times more likely than the average web visitor to ALSO visit funadvice.com.

Or, 14 times more likely to visit answerbag.com.

Alot of online data is very rough….as is the above, too – but Quantcast is well worth checking out if you are trying to figure out what sort of content to create, or community to build, or what other sites in your marketplace “look” like right now, and is great for ideas, and inspiration, too..:-)

The screenshot below tells us that Match.Com users are passionate about the site, and their membership and check in often…..a good thing to know if you are an affiliate like me and want to know how likely it is that a free trial may ultimately convert into a full site sale, but NOT such a good thing to know if you’re a member like me and have sent out 14 emails to other members this week and none have responded.

(which you were hoping was because they don’t check in very often, which now looks statistically unlikely)

Quantcast also tells us that Ezinearticles.Com’s traffic ain’t getting much better since the big Panda punishment, and as a matter of fact…..is actually continuing to get worse. (although in fairness, I’ve seen a pretty noticable jump in my own niche traffic over the last month, it’s still way down from where it was a year ago)

It also tells me that my own blog doesn’t even really count at all on their radar, which hurts my feelings and makes me question why I even searched for myself in the first place.

Often, some of the best questions are those you don’t ask.

I heard that once in a Bruce Willis movie, and it’s advice I wish I listened to more often – especially around Valentines Day.

Anyway – the key takeway is, Match.com has a really engaged female user base, many of whom don’t find me an ideal partner.

And Ezinearticles better try something new if they want to afford that big mortgage for that beautiful new googleplex looking building they just built in downtown Greenbay.

And that this post probably could have ended 2 paragraphs ago and been far more useful.

And that you can do tons of great, competitive keyword research for free…do it super duper quickly and in the process, get access to genuinely insightful information that will help you build your blog, your brand and your business as well 🙂



  1. Hi Ian – really dumb question: I looked at match.com to see what you’re talking about and I don’t see any advertising. Do google ads show up on the search pages? Not clear on why you mention that site or how you would use it. Forgive my der-ness. Ta xx

    1. Hi Pollyanna – The “Match” reference is only an example of the sort of data that the free tool above – Quantcast – will offer about a specific domain – in the screenshot above I only mean to show the feature where they tell you how “active” visitors are – (how addictive the site is) – in this case, showing that MOST Match.Com traffic is “Addicted” to the site – e.g. – they return to it often.

      From an affiliate standpoint – this is great information to have from an objective source about the quality of a product or service. (even though the numbers are “raw” and estimation quality only)

      From the same standpoint – a blog or site or community that you are competing with, or a niche that you are targeting for example – to know that your closest competition has very loyal readers is a great thing to know, as it tells you the niche is one with a lot of passion and repeat interest.

      (much the way that the actual amount of time people spend on FACEBOOK for example, is thought of to be emblamatic of how dominant of a site they are – or how many minutes per day the average person spends on FB as a way of gauging their value and influence, on a smaller level,the same sort of ethos can be used to pick a niche, or a product to promote, or a community to emulate, etc)

      Not a “Google ad” related thing though! 🙂

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